Skip all navigation and go to page content

SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Archive for April, 2013

The “Human Touch” in NN/LM Partnership Express Training Projects

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

by Dr. Mary Howrey, Director of Library Services, DeVry University South Florida Library, Miramar, FL

How do you measure the impact of an Express Training Project? It’s through the relationships you build with your colleagues and the people served both during and after your training project. The “human touch” is easily measured by the training materials (i.e., artifacts) you create as part of the training journey and the lives you touch with professional knowledge, care, and concern.

From January 31, 2013 through March 23, 2013, DeVry University South Florida, University Library was the lead partner in an Express Training Project titled, “Healthy Aging Resources on the Web for Seniors and Caregivers.”  The project name was bestowed upon our partnership by Judy Sullivan, president of the Friends of the Miramar Library, at their October 2012 Board meeting. The responses of the Friends Board to the training project and the Miramar Branch Library Adult Services Department were so positive and encouraging, that Dr. Mary Howrey agreed to submit an Express Training Award application to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern Atlantic Region.  DeVry University has been a member of the NN/LM SE/A Region since February 2011, qualifying them for this funding opportunity. The Express Training Award application was submitted the first week of December, and the award e-mail confirmation from Dale Prince, Executive Director, was received by DeVry on December 18.

The Healthy Aging Resources on the Web for Seniors and Caregivers training series offered to health science librarians, seniors, and caregivers in Southeast Florida included:

  • Two “Train the Trainer” sessions for librarians from Miramar Branch Library, Broward County Library System, the SEFLIN Consortium, and the Miami Health Science Library Association (11 library professionals attended) on January 31 and February 5,
  • A Healthy Aging Expo and Workshop was held on Saturday, February 9, 2013 from noon – 4p.m. 35 seniors and caregivers attended the workshop plus more than 60 visitors to the Expo with 12 exhibitors from local hospitals (Memorial Healthcare System and Baptist Health), the Broward Aging and Disability Resource Center (our Area Agency on Aging), the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center, several insurance providers, and home health care agencies,
  • Two hands-on PC training sessions (15 students attended) covering the free National Library of Medicine and NIH consumer health online services (Medline Plus, NIH Senior Health,, and the Eldercare Locator databases) were offered on Saturday, February 23, 2013 and March 9, 2013.

The training series was built from an MLA Clearinghouse curriculum, Healthy Aging at Your Library: Connecting Older Adults to Health Information using PowerPoint Presentations (PPTS) by Karen Vargas and Kelli Hamm, both Consumer Health Coordinators serving other regions of the NN/LM. Three of the PPTs were adapted for our Healthy Aging Resources on the Web for Seniors and Caregivers training series to include local resources for Broward County, the State of Florida, in addition to the national NLM/NIH consumer health databases. The training series handouts and PPTs will be made available in the MLA Clearinghouse in the near future.

The project resulted in significant long-term gains for the NN/LM SE/A Region, Friends, Miramar Branch Library, and DeVry University South Florida Library in reaching seniors and caregivers in southwest Broward County. These gains include: free community service ad space in the Century Village retirement community’s COOPPA Guardian monthly newsletter for the Friends of the Miramar Library (a newsletter that is distributed to the 12,000 residents of this senior residential community), a budding relationship with the Broward Aging and Disability Resource Center (Area Agency on Aging), a contact list of healthcare and aging network providers for future programming, and an invitation to Dr. Mary Howrey from the Century Village Computer Club to present a lecture/demonstration introducing “Healthy Aging Resources on the Web” to a potential audience of 125 Century Village residents on May 20, 2013.  DeVry University South Florida Library also received several health reference questions from seniors and caregivers who attended the two PC training sessions, wanting to locate area physicians to treat challenging medical conditions they faced.

The “human touch” of our training project is reflected in a Vimeo production, which shows all the librarians, healthcare and aging network professionals, exhibitors, seniors and caregivers in attendance on February 9, 2013.

Videographer Diana Cristina Godshall creatively recorded and edited the presentations and activities that day, and produced a 4:40 minute video of the highlights of the four-hour Expo and Workshop. With an instrumental version of “When I’m Sixty-Four” by the Beatles playing in the background, you can experience part of the learning and excitement that occurred at the Healthy Aging Resources on the Web Expo and Workshop. The MP4 video file will also be uploaded to You Tube for broader access by healthcare and aging network professionals, seniors, and caregivers.

Our partners encourage you to consider outreach to an underserved population in your community by identifying their health information needs, locating friendly community partners, jointly planning the project goals and training opportunities to be offered, and applying for an NN/LM SE/A Express Training Award. Your library will experience increased visibility and good will when you work to improve the health literacy and health status of underserved populations in your local community. Our DeVry University motto says it all—“Doing Well, By Doing Good.”

Consider applying for an Express Training Award in FY 2014!

Dr. Mary Howrey, Ed.D., MALS, MS Sociology
DeVry University South Florida Library
Miramar, FL
Phone: 954-499-9851

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00004C with the University of Maryland Baltimore.

WBPC Class

Healthy Aging Resources on the Web PC Training Class
Miramar Florida Branch Library
February 23, 2013

NIH Policy Support Statement

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013



The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries and the Medical Library Association urge journal publishers to fully support authors who are federally mandated to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.  Many authors are confused by the varied approaches and policies of different journals for submitting articles to PubMed Central. This issue will become even more pressing beginning July 1, 2013, when NIH will delay processing an award if publications arising from it are not in compliance with the Policy.  Additionally, authors and their institutions need publisher support to address prior lapses in compliance, dating back to 2008, as failure to do so will adversely affect future grant funding. 

On behalf of academic health centers, health sciences schools, libraries and more importantly, journal authors, we ask that:

·         Publishers allow authors to submit to PubMed Central the final published versions of their articles published after April 7, 2008, related to awards that will have an anticipated start date of July 1, 2013.  We ask that this permission be communicated to authors via the journal website and other relevant communication mechanisms between now and July 1, 2013. 

·         Going forward, publishers consider entering into an NIH Portfolio agreement with PubMed Central, wherein the journal commits to depositing all articles funded by the NIH (as defined by the NIH Public Access Policy), starting with a specified volume/issue or publication date.

Authors in academic health centers are increasingly aware of the importance of selecting journals that simplify compliance.  Publisher assistance with the compliance process would strengthen ties with their authors, an important market, and establish a strong pipeline for future cutting-edge research articles.   Also, it would avoid the potential problem of researchers inadvertently violating publisher agreements when attempting to bring older publications into compliance.  Finally, having a standard, easy solution for all authors would reduce publisher workload in consulting with individual authors to bring older articles into compliance.

Any delay in grant awards will have an adverse effect on major research institutions that thrive on competitive NIH funding.   Publishers have a major role in the compliance process.  We strongly encourage them to streamline the process and offer all possible assistance to authors mandated to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.


The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) supports academic health sciences libraries and directors in advancing the patient care, research, education and community service missions of academic health centers through visionary executive leadership and expertise in health information, scholarly communication, and knowledge management.

Founded in 1898, the Medical Library Association (MLA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, educational organization of 4,000 individual and institutional members in the health sciences information field that provides lifelong educational opportunities, supports a knowledgebase of health information research, and works with a global network of partners to promote the importance of quality information for improved health to the health care community and the public.

Casting call for June 19 Beyond the SEA webinar

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

by Kimberley Barker, MLIS, Andrea Wright, MLIS

Do you work in a health sciences or hospital library setting? If so, have you, when faced with a barrier to the use of technology, gone around/leapt over/burrowed under or otherwise smashed through it in a creative way? If so, please contact me about participating in a SE/A Technology RAC-sponsored webinar which will feature a panel of fellow smartie-pants (pantses?) who have sneered in the face of technological hardship and lived to tell the tale.

Back in March, Andrea Wright, Technology Librarian at the University of South Alabama’s Biomedical Library presented (on behalf of the SE/A Technology RAC) the findings of our survey which centered around questions of  health librarian work environments, and the needs, interests, and challenges of those working with health and medical information. (If you missed the live event, you may view it here:

The impetus for the survey was the hope that by gathering such information our committee and the RML could help our constituents with their technology needs and interests- that we could use the information to plan future classes and presentations, better direct possible funding opportunities, and determine the best ways to help information professionals overcome perceived challenges related to technologies in specialized healthcare and academic settings.

During the process of creating the survey, the Tech RAC realized that it had an opportunity to offer our community a specific deliverable: instead of merely presenting the results in a webinar, why not create a second webinar that would showcase the brilliant ways in which colleagues from across the region have met the challenges of everything from lack of funding to firewalls to lack of institutional IT support?
And so it’s done: the webinar showcasing our community’s ingenuity is set for June. Unfortunately, y’all are being modest and I have yet to be contacted by a SINGLE PERSON who is willing to share his/her brilliance.

If you or someone you know refused to bow to the constraints of time, environment, or resources and instead displayed mental fortitude in order to deliver technology to your patrons, please tell us.

To participate in the June 19th panel discussion on managing technology barriers, please contact the NNLM-SE/A Technology RAC Chair at:

Twitter: @KR_Barker
Skype: kimberleybarker1

What We Learned: The skinny on HIMSS13, New Orleans

Monday, April 8th, 2013

By PJ Grier, Outreach and Access Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region


For about a week in early March, I attended the Healthcare Information and Management Systems (HIMSS) Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. The meeting theme was “Health IT: Right Time. Right Place. It’s On.” HIMSS is one of twenty-five top national conferences in terms of attendance and its focus is healthcare information technology (HIT). The conference is so large that leadership is only able to cost-effectively schedule it in four cities: Las Vegas, Chicago, New Orleans, or Orlando. This year, attendance peaked at about 32,000 people from the U.S. and around the globe; including Saudi Arabia, Brazil and the United Kingdom.

The mile long Ernest N. Morial Convention Center was ground zero for most activities and personally, I was overwhelmed at the expanse of physical space, the number of attendees, and the variety of choices of symposia and educational tracks.  Educational sessions were sliced into four tracks: Clinical & Business Intelligence, Mobile Health, Meaningful Use, and Views from the Top. The exhibition space, or Business Marketplace as it was called, covered an area the size of several football fields, while the educational commons area provided classrooms, great halls, and theaters on three floors. Creative planning was needed to efficiently circulate so as to dodge attending consecutive events on different floors at opposing ends of the building. Per usual, popular sessions booked-up quickly, but HIMSS had a nice feature where one could download presentation slides using a QR code on the signage.

The National Library of Medicine had a presence in the Marketplace where it primarily promoted the VSAC (Value Set Authority Center) service. Value sets are lists of specific terms and associated codes derived from single or multiple standard vocabularies. These sets are used to define clinical concepts in clinical quality measures (CQMs) and support effective health information exchange. A primary purpose of the value sets currently represented in the NLM VSAC, is to support the 2014 CQMs prescribed for Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs).


Willa Fields, HIMSS Chair (and professor School of Nursing, University of San Diego), provided opening remarks and highlighted the four Nicholas E. Davies Awards of Excellence recipients, one of whom was from SE/A. Unity Health Care of Washington, DC received the award for Increased Access to Care. Next, she introduced Mayor Mitch Landrieu who, besides welcoming everyone to the Big Easy, depicted a compelling narrative of how the city has shifted its reliance on hospital emergency departments as the first point-of-contact for uninsured/underinsured residents to a neighborhood network of city operated health centers, post-Katrina.

President Bill Clinton spoke of the urgent need to bend the nation’s healthcare cost curve downward so as to avoid additional negative impact on GDP. There are various efforts coalescing around it, such as the Affordable Care Act, the continued integration of HIT, movement toward personalized medicine, and the adoption of clinical quality measures. These efforts are being executed not only by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services but also by third party payers, which financially encourages providers (through modifying reimbursement mechanisms) to hone in on patient quality rather than volume. During his Q&A, he was asked if he thought another Clinton might run in 2016. While he shared a few stories about Hillary, he was non-committal.

Eric Topol, MD, (cardiologist) who can be best described as a futurist, talked about the “consumerization” of medicine. He made three key points about this “consumerization”: (1) the growth of smartphone technologies including medical apps, (2) the continued personalization of medicine from human genome sequencing to designer pharmaceuticals, and (3) expanding digital capabilities of biosensor technologies. Taken together, these items can enable an empowered consumer to “continuously” monitor his/her human biosystems at the touch of an app and with the aid of a sensor.  The capability now exists to continuously monitor your biosystem in such a way that a smartphone may be able to determine, in real-time, if you are likely to have a heart attack. Dr. Topol, whose book is entitled “The Creative Destruction of Medicine, recently chatted on national news with NancySnyderman, MD about his vision of a medical “future.” His vision, importantly, is that continuous smartphone surveillance provides indications of trends and possible abnormalities, which in the end, leaves the consumer with the power to determine how to manage the information and his/her health.

Warner Thomas – CEO of Ochsner Health, Louisiana’s largest non-profit healthcare system, delivered a direct message on costs to representatives of EHR vendors and medical device manufacturers in the audience. Quite simply, he stated that continued sharp cost increases in systems and products cannot be sustained in the “new world order” of healthcare delivery. While listening to his presentation, I warmly reflected on countless discussions involving similar lines of thought at library conferences, meetings etc., where due to flat or decreasing budgets our profession has had to make hard “cost” choices in terms of publisher products and services. Here too, in the hyper-dynamic world of HIT, cost is of utmost concern to decision makers.

Since my interests centered on big data, consumer health, and patient communications, I attended educational sessions that included “The Use of Social Media to Educate Patients,” “Implementing Patient Engagement and Care Coordination Technologies,” “Beyond the Device: A Comprehensive Mobility Strategy,” and “Engaging People in Health through Consumer-Facing Devices.” I also attended the EHR SIG group meeting where I learned about a subset of EHR vendors marketing software solutions to K-12 school systems, to track student nutritional, behavioral, and mental health statuses.


Would I attend again? Yes.  How can a librarian get involved in HIT? Identify the early technology adopters in your institution and engage them. Offer to use or get trained in the technology. Find a way to make HIT adoptable to your workflow? Also, keep abreast of HIT trends. Start small and then expand your scope, otherwise the subject matter can quickly overwhelm.  HIT topics include, patient portals, datasets, MedlinePlus Connect, blue button technology, inferential software, EHRs, and big data. One recommendation is Eric Topol’s book – The Creative Destruction of Medicine. If you are an SE/A member and have an interest in reading it, phone Ashley Cuffia on our main number and she’ll make arrangements for you to borrow the book from our lending library, once it arrives from the publisher. Also, a useful blog is Life as a Healthcare CIO, a news source is Healthcare Finance News, and AHRQ has a knowledge library of relevant technology articles

Having attended both the HIMSS and AMIA (American Medical Informatics Association) conferences, a colleague asked to compare and contrast the two.  There is huge value in both, so it all depends on your primary angle of interest. The annual AMIA conference has a mainly academic focus, often on theoretical and emerging thought, while HIMSS has technology innovations with practical applications, which often originate from academia, or corporate research and development.  In my opinion, HIMSS seems to cast a broader net with professionals from a variety of healthcare sectors, all mixed throughout the venue. So, mark your calendars, next year HIMSS is scheduled for Orlando, FL in February.

For more information on HIMSS see: Questions or comments can be sent to PJ at:

Last updated on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2016

Funded under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012340 with the University of Maryland, Health Sciences and Human Services Library, and awarded by the DHHS, NIH, National Library of Medicine.